Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) today lent his support to a measure announced by U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer to rescind the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Interest Assessment Surcharge imposed on businesses and refund any businesses that have paid this assessment.
“Business owners from all across New York state spoke out against this surcharge over the past few weeks. I heard you loud and clear! Simply put, the UI Interest Assessment Surcharge directly penalizes those who are doing their best to bring the Empire State out of this recession,” Kolb said.
The surcharge exists to cover a $95 million interest payment on $3 billion in loans from the Federal Unemployment Trust Fund, which helped finance New York State’s payment of Unemployment Insurance benefits to unemployed workers. Senator Schumer’s expected legislation would end the surcharge, retroactively extend the interest-free lending program through 2012 and direct states to refund fees already paid by businesses.
“I responded in July by calling on Governor Cuomo to rescind the surcharge, suggesting that he use a portion of the nearly $800 million in surplus first quarter tax receipts from the current fiscal year to cover the interest payment, instead of nickel-and-diming New York businesses with another costly assessment. I received no response. I am glad that Senator Schumer will introduce this legislation to provide a solution to the problem, instead of just passing the bill along to the men and women that create jobs,” said Kolb.
“I support Senator Schumer’s efforts to provide for New York’s unemployed men and women without harming the business owners that are dedicated to turning our economy around and putting folks back to work. Let’s work together to ultimately get this legislation passed and put money back in the pockets of New York’s job creators, so they can reinvest in their local economies,” Kolb said.
“Unfortunately, this surcharge is just one obstacle in New York’s economic recovery. There is much more to be done! One of the many reasons why New York leads the nation in high taxes is because state government spends too much, while taxpayers and job creators are expected to pick up the tab for big government. Enacting a state spending cap would force Albany to finally get serious about controlling spending, not just in an election year, but every year. Suspending government regulations and unfunded mandates – unless directly related to health and safety – would allow New York’s job creators a chance to catch their breath, reduce operating costs and invest in job creation. It’s time for Albany bureaucrats to walk the walk -- not just talk the talk -- and prove that the Empire State is once again Open for Business,” Kolb concluded.